9 more foreigners granted Taiwanese citizenship without surrendering original nationality

9 additional foreign professionals have been granted Taiwanese citizenship while not having to surrender original citizenship

Ukrainian artist Ivan. (Photo from Tainan City Government Cultural Affairs Bureau website tmcc.gov.tw)

Ukrainian artist Ivan. (Photo from Tainan City Government Cultural Affairs Bureau website tmcc.gov.tw)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Nine additional foreign professionals have just officially received Taiwanese citizenship, without having to surrender their original nationality, announced the Ministry of Interior (MOI) through a press release yesterday (Sept. 12).

At its sixth meeting to review applications by professionals to become naturalized Taiwanese citizens held yesterday, the MOI selected nine new recipients, bringing the total number of foreign nationals accepted under the new program since Nationality Act was amended on December 21, 2016 to 59.

The nine professionals chosen in this round included five who work in education, one expert in economics, two employed in culture and the arts and one whose field was listed as "other." The latest group of new naturalized Taiwanese citizens includes four Americans, one German, two Malaysians, one Ukrainian and one Bolivian.

Among those selected include an American scholar with the Chinese surname of Chu (朱) who specializes in physics and was cited by top academic journals for his work in valleytronics. The German recipient, whose Chinese surname is listed as Hsu (許), specializes in robotics and won second place in a robot soccer competition.

A Bolivian woman with the Chinese surname of (克), who specializes in system integration, was selected for her work in technology services for companies such as Kinpo Electronics and Carrefour. A Malaysian actress was selected for her work publishing a performing arts yearbook from 2005 to 2007, providing training programs related to the promotion of performing arts groups and performing in famous plays such as "Secret Love for the Peach Blossom Spring" (暗戀桃花源), "Dreamlike Dream" (如夢之夢), and "Book of Water" (水中之書).

A Ukrainian painter identified as Ivan, who regards himself as a "Nature Minder," was selected for introducing the beauty and simplicity of Taiwan to European countries through his paintings, which depict scenery of Taiwan and portraits of Taiwanese people.

The MOI pointed out that senior professionals who become naturalized citizens of Taiwan can participate in the political process and enjoy various social benefits. In its press release, the MOI said that it "welcomes more senior foreign professionals to become Taiwanese and join Taiwan's big family."

In March of last year, the ministry promulgated a regulation as a supplement to an amendment to the Nationality Act (國籍法) passed by the legislature in December of 2016 which gave special exemptions and extensions for the requirement that foreign national to renounce their citizenship before being eligible to become a Taiwanese citizen. Previously, all foreign nationals had to first give up their original citizenship before they could be approved as Taiwanese nationals, a procedure which might turn them into stateless persons if the Taiwanese authorities rejected their applications.